Much attention is paid to a plethora of bicycle components, but few can have as much of an impact on bicycle performance than tire selection. Hutchinson's latest round of off-road tires includes the intriguing Piranha, which pairs aggressively tall cornering knobs with a decidedly low-profile center tread. Hutchinson offers the Piranha in several different flavors ranging from skinny cross country widths to beefier all-mountain casings. Our 26x2.3" Piranha MRC Medium Tubeless test tires fell at the latter end of that scale with an actual weight of 966g each (91g more than advertised). To Hutchinson's credit, that weight incorporates a beefy 66tpi, true UST casing with reinforced sidewalls and a polyamide belt under the tread along with medium rebound rubber for enhanced grip over more XC-specific compounds.
When mounted up on a 5" travel trail bike, we found the Piranha MRC Medium Tubeless to largely deliver on Hutchinson's cornering grip promises in hardpack and loose-over-hardpack conditions (sorry, we weren't able to try them in soft or muddy terrains). Adhesion at the limits was excellent and also reasonably forgiving in spite of the tire's decidedly square-edged profile. The distinct lack of intermediate knobs, however, made for somewhat odd transitions but we quickly adjusted to the feel nonetheless.
To read the complete review, click here.